Home Safety Tips for Summer Vacation (Part 1)
When it comes to keeping your home safe, burglary is your biggest risk. According to the FBI, a burglary occurs somewhere in the United States every 15.4 seconds. The majority of home and apartment burglaries occur during the daytime when most people are away at work or school. The summer months of July and August see the peak of home burglaries with more people away for summer vacation. Seventy percent of burglars use some amount force to enter a home, but their preference is to gain easy access through an open door or window. As a deterrent, place highly visible decals on glass doors and windows near the latch mechanism that indicates that an alarm system, a dog, or block watch/operation identification system is in place.
Home burglar’s typically target homes to burgle that are unoccupied, and come with the easiest possible access and escape routes. Burglars will also look for spots with plenty of cover. Use these home safety tips to help decrease your chances of a break-in.
Doors and Locks
Most burglars enter homes by the front, back, or garage doors. Typically the garage is the weakest point of entry, followed by the back door. Doors with flimsy strike plates are more susceptible to being kicked in. Do not leave valuables or keys inside your car even when it’s inside of your garage as burglars will often look there once they have broken into the garage.
- Use high quality Grade-1 or Grade-2 locks on exterior doors
- Purchase solid core or metal doors for all entrance points
- Use a quality, heavy-duty, deadbolt lock with a one-inch throw bolt
- Use a quality, heavy-duty, knob-in-lock set with a dead-latch mechanism
- Use a heavy-duty, four-screw, strike plate with 3-inch screws to penetrate into a wooden door frame
- Use a wide-angle 160° peephole mounted no higher than 58 inches
Sliding-Glass Patio Doors
Sliding glass doors are not as secure as regular doors because they are secured by latches not locks. Your best defense here is to insert a wooden dowel or stick into the track, which limits movement on the door. There are other blocking devices available such as metal fold-down pieces called “charley bars” and various track-blockers that can be screwed down. To prevent your glass door from being lifted off, keep the latch mechanism and door rollers in good working condition and install anti-lift devices such as through-the-door pins or upper track screws.
To be continued…
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